Pope deserves warm welcome from us all

'I think we should extend every courtesy to Pope Francis.'
‘I think we should extend every courtesy to Pope Francis.’

Sir – I disagree with Gordon Cunningham’s scathing attack on the Pope’s upcoming visit. (Letters, Sunday Independent, July 8). It’s not often the Pope makes a trip to Ireland, so I think we should extend every courtesy to him.

He does, after all, represent millions of Catholics worldwide, including in Ireland, and his essential message is one of peace and love. He stands against corruption, oppression, social and economic inequality and has given important leadership in the global battle to save the environment. Even if Francis were a dyed-in-the-wool atheist with no interest whatsoever in religion I would admire this compassionate and inherently decent man who, following in the footsteps of St Francis, earnestly wishes to ease the suffering of the world and make it a better place for all of us – humans and other sentient beings.

So, yes, there should be a warm welcome for Pope Francis here in August, just as we ought to extend a cead mile failte to the Dalai Lama as spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists or to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Church of England if they decide to visit in that capacity.

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